Concurrent Sessions II: Implementation Challenges for Using Evaluation to Enhance Educator Effectiveness

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Concurrent Session II.A
"Evaluating Teachers of English Language Learners"


Framing the Teaching of Academic Language
Center to Support Excellence in Teaching


Effective teacher evaluation systems differentiate among and are sensitive to specialized teacher roles and positions. Presenters in this session identified the main challenges and opportunities of evaluating teachers of English language learners (ELLs). They discussed promising practices across the country and highlighted areas that need further attention to ensure that teachers of ELLs receive the support necessary to meet the needs of their students. Following are some highlights:

  • ELLs are present in nearly every Denver Public Schools classroom; therefore, the district has worked to embed English Language Acquisition strategies within the district’s Framework for Effective Teaching, so that the needs of ELLs can be considered across all grade levels and in various content areas. According to Susana Cordova, chief academic officer at Denver Public Schools, Denver’s Framework for Effective Teaching reflects what effective teachers of ELLs do in the classroom, so that when evaluators use the framework, they know not only where teachers struggle, but also what practices they should look for to assess performance.
  • The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), along with state and local partners, has received an Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) grant to implement a state-of-the-art educator evaluation system. As part of the i3 grant, AFT is developing a rubric to reflect best practices related to teaching ELLs. AFT has also released a values issues brief that is intended to create a shift in mindset that calls for all learners to be brought to the same levels of learning.
  • Robert Pritchard, professor of Education and chair of the Department of Teacher Education at Sacramento State University, described how the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching at Stanford University is developing a set of tools and model of professional development to improve the teaching of academic language across subject areas. The Academic Language and Literacy in Every Subject (ALLIES ) research project examines aspects of teacher knowledge and instructional practice that are associated with positive learning outcomes for ELLs.


Challenges in Evaluating Special Education Teachers and English Language Learner Specialists
Holdheide, L. R., Goe, L., Croft, A., & Reschly, D. J.
National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality (2010)

Concurrent Session II.B
"Combining Evaluation Measures"


Combining Evaluation Measures
Lisa Lachlan-Haché
American Institutes for Research


There is broad-based consensus among policymakers and practitioners that educator evaluation systems must be grounded in multiple measures of performance. As states and districts move from the design phase of their new evaluation systems, an implementation challenge has surfaced: how best to combine these various performance measures and data points to arrive at an individual summative performance rating. Participants learned about the strengths and drawbacks of three distinct approaches to combining evaluation measures for summative rating purposes and had an opportunity to engage with the ideas presented and apply new learning to their own context. Following are some highlights:

  • Lisa Lachlan, senior researcher at AIR, opened the session by providing an overview of four major approaches to combining evaluation measures: the numerical approach, profile/matrix approach, holistic rating approach, and hybrid approach.
  • Mary Ann Snider, chief of educator quality and instructional effectiveness at the Rhode Island Department of Education, discussed Rhode Island’s method for combining evaluation measures, which employs a hybrid model using both the matrix and numerical approach.
  • Michaela Miller, National Board Certified Teacher coordinator at the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, presented on Washington’s pilot evaluation system and its process for combining evaluation measures based on a criterion rating that is LEA determined and a summative rating that is state education agency (SEA) determined.
  • Dale Chu, assistant superintendent for innovation and improvement at the Indiana Department of Education, gave an overview of the Indiana RISE evaluation system that combines professional practice and student learning into a final summative score. Each component is weighted 50 percent, with professional practice based on four domains of varying weight and student learning based on individual growth model data, schoolwide learning measures, and student learning objectives, which are weighted based on the type of teacher and available assessments.
  • A discussion of the implementation challenges was the focus of questions from attendees, particularly regarding training principals on these often complex systems. Rhode Island’s approach includes launching several online Web-based tools to help manage scoring while Indiana and Washington provided intense training to principals for their pilots. Both states are concerned and thinking about how to bring their training to scale for the entire state.


Creating Summative Educator Effectiveness Scores: Approaches to Combining Measures
Leo, S. F., & Lachlan-Haché, L.
American Institutes for Research (2012)

Concurrent Session II.C
"Planning for Transitions to the Application and Use of Student Outcomes Data"


Preparing for the Transition to PARCC
Curl, Cory
Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers

Smarter Balanced Assessments: A New System of Outcomes Data
Willhoft, Joe, Ph.D.
Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium


In this session, presenters discussed districts’ and states’ transitions, from traditional student assessments to PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium assessments. After a brief introduction to the two models, presenters discussed how states can address these transitions, keeping in mind implementation challenges. Participants had the opportunity to learn how specific states are beginning to plan for these transitions and to think about applications to their own contexts. Following are some highlights:

  • Though there is much that is shared between PARCC and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium assessments, one overarching difference is that while the current Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium model is computer adaptive, the current PARCC model is not.
  • The design of both PARCC and Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium assessments is to create assessments that are true to expectations, worthy of instructional imitation, and will, by design, improve classroom instruction.
  • Consortia are working collaboratively on setting proficiency levels, and are joining with the Council of Chief State School Officers to work on a sustainability effort.
  • Many of the design elements of both the assessments themselves and states’ transition efforts are still in the research and development phase, so representatives of both consortia encourage educators to be patient and keep an open mind.


Coming Together to Raise Achievement: New Assessments for the Common Core State Standards
Center for K–12 Assessment & Performance Management at ETS (2012)